SUNBURY — As expected, the 52nd meeting of the cross-river rivalry between Selinsgrove and Shikellamy featured plenty of intense action on both sides of the ball.
But after starting the season with a pair of losses, the Braves had a little extra to prove against the Seals, who have dominated the series in recent years.
Shikellamy staked out to a two-touchdown lead at the half, and the Braves’ defense did the rest to pull out a 14-7 Heartland-I victory over Selinsgrove on Friday the 13th at Shikellamy Stadium.
"After the way the first two weeks have gone, the kids have held their ground at home. All week (us coaches) felt the kids had a great week of practice," said Shikellamy coach Todd Tilford. "The kids were still frustrated by the way things have gone. I said we have to cut out the mistakes and keep on believing. The kids kept on plugging away and they earned the win against a real good Selinsgrove team.
"It’s easy to doubt yourselves when things don’t go so well, but to get a win over a great Selinsgrove team should improve our confidence and set the tone for the rest of the season," added Tilford
Once again Selinsgrove (2-1, 0-1 HAC-I) lost the turnover battle as the Seals threw two interceptions and fumbled the ball away once.
The second miscue by the Seals resulted in a quick six points for the Braves when Jean Turber intercepted a pass from Isaiah Rapp and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown with five minutes remaining in the second quarter.
And when Shikellamy (1-2, 1-0) got the ball back with just over two minutes left before halftime, the Braves wasted little time to build onto its lead.
Beginning near midfield, Shikellamy needed just six plays to score again as Nick Dunn gained most of those yards by catching a 37-yard pass from Garrett Kemberling to give the Braves a 14-0 lead.